I recently read C. J. Mahaney’s book Humility: True Greatness. I had heard of his book a couple years ago, immediately downloaded it to my Kindle, and had even scanned the book and used his definition of humility. It wasn’t until last week, however, that I actually read the entire book. Granted, I had good reasons for reading it now, namely, I am preaching through the book of Philippians and this week used the text from Phil 2:1-11, a passage where Paul exhorts the Philippian church to follow Jesus example of humility. Two words: highly recommended!
This book is relatively short and to the point. C. J. is gifted with a very clear writing style. He doesn’t complicate the topic, letting personal and applicable biblical examples show how we all need more humility in our lives. The book’s theme is that to attain true greatness, we not only need Jesus example of humility, we need his death. C. J. expertly proves this by first juxtaposing humility with pride, the sin that Scripture says God opposes (1 Pet 5:5).
The most practical (and my favorite) section of C. J.’s book was his list of suggestions on how to weaken pride and cultivate humility. His list included 28 detailed suggestions. I’ve listed nine of those most impacting to me below:
- Reflect often on the wonder of the Cross.
- Begin your day acknowledging your dependence on God and your need for God.
- As you end your day, transfer any glory you’ve built up that day to God. Go to sleep receiving God’s gift of sleep, reminding yourself that only God never sleeps nor slumbers.
- Invite and pursue correction.
- Make an effort to learn from everyone, even your enemies; those who oppose you.
- Learn the necessity of confession and forgiveness; repent quickly and thoroughly.
- Identify evidences of grace in other people.
- Laugh often, and laugh often at yourself.
- Respond humbly to trials.
This book – this topic – should be required reading for every Jesus follower. A much needed message to the body and a character trait that we all could stand to exhibit more of.